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F1 LIVE: Red Bull chief dismisses claims Max Verstappen could lose 2021 title

Red Bull guilty of ‘minor’ Formula One financial rules breach

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has brandished talk that Max Verstappen could lose his 2021 world title due to the team’s cost cap breach as “complete nonsense.”

Red Bull were found guilty of a “minor financial overspend” of the 2021 budget cap, with one potential penalty a loss of Drivers and/or Constructors’ World Championship points. Verstappen won last year’s thrilling title battle by a margin of eight points to Lewis Hamilton after a controversial last-lap overtake in Abu Dhabi.

But Marko – echoing Red Bull’s statement last Monday – insists the team has not broken the budget cap, adding that “in the past, extreme violations of the regulations were punished very mildly by the FIA.”

“I don’t want to say too much, just this much,” he told F1-Insider. “We still believe that we didn’t break the cost cap rule at all. Discussions with the FIA are ongoing. Let’s see what finally comes out of it. As I said we are still not aware of any guilt, which is why discussions with the FIA are still ongoing. But rumours Max could lose his World title in 2021, for example, are complete nonsense.”

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Follow F1 updates as Red Bull wait anxiously for their budget cap penalty

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F1 news: Red Bull only team to over-spend

Last Monday’s announcement from the FIA found that Red Bull were the only team to go over the budget cap in the 2021 season – the same year Max Verstappen controversially won the driver’s championship.

The sport’s governing body found that Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Alpine, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas had all complied with the rule, Aston Martin were guilty of a procedural breach whilst Red Bull breached the procedural and minor overspend limits.

Red Bull now face a penalty – still to be determined by the FIA. This is what could happen to the team:

Minor breach = overspend of less than 5%. Penalties could be:

– Deduction of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship points

– Suspension form one of more stages of a competition

– Limitations on ability to conduct aerodynamic or other testing

– Reduction of the cost cap

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Drivers Championship by eight points

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F1 news: Red Bull chief dismisses claims Max Verstappen could lose 2021 title

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has brandished talk that Max Verstappen could lose his 2021 world title due to the team’s cost cap breach as “complete nonsense.”

Red Bull were found guilty of a “minor financial overspend” of the 2021 budget cap, with one potential penalty a loss of Drivers and/or Constructors’ World Championship points.

Verstappen won last year’s thrilling title battle by a margin of eight points to Lewis Hamilton after a controversial last-lap overtake in Abu Dhabi.

But Marko – echoing Red Bull’s statement on Monday – insists the team has not broken the budget cap, adding that “in the past, extreme violations of the regulations were punished very mildly by the FIA.”

“I don’t want to say too much, just this much,” he told F1-Insider. “We still believe that we didn’t break the cost cap rule at all.”

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F1 news: Ferrari chief reveals why he believes F1’s ‘credibility is at stake’

Mattia Binotto, team principal at Ferrari, fears that Formula 1’s “credibility is at stake” with the budget cap row. Red Bull were found to have overspent in Monday’s FIA findings with their punishment yet to be determined.

The sport’s financial regulations define a minor breach as one less than 5% of the cap, set at $145m (£114m) in 2021, and a material one as more than that. But Binotto is certain that even a minor breach should be taken seriously.

“It’s definitely a shame that we are talking about it in October of the following season, because at this point, apart from implications on last year’s championship, there are also implications for the current one,” the Ferrari team principal told Sky Italia.

“Let’s wait until Wednesday before making a judgement but, whatever amount we are talking about, it’s important to understand that even if it is four million, which falls into the category of what is considered a minor breach, four million is not minor.”

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F1 news: Christian Horner said he was ‘very confident’ in Red Bull’s submission

Christian Horner said he was “very confident” in Red Bull’s submission – as the team celebrated Verstappen’s second world title following a bizarre end to a dramatic Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday – before the FIA’s findings last Monday.

“We’ve been shocked at the speculation and accusations that have been made by other teams.,” Horner told BBC Radio 4. “We wait for the FIA to conclude their process and we wait to see what comes out. Anything other than compliance we’ll be extremely surprised at.”

Sanctions available to the FIA for a breach ranged from a reprimand, to financial penalties, to the deduction of drivers’ points, and even exclusion from the championship.

Red Bull added in their statement after the results were published: “We need to carefully review the FIA’s findings as our belief remains that the relevant costs are under the 2021 cost cap amount.

“Despite the conjecture and positioning of others, there is of course a process under the regulations with the FIA which we will respectfully follow while we consider all the options available to us.”

(Getty Images)

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F1 news: Max Verstappen’s 2022 performance ‘on another planet’, Christian Horner claims

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hailed driver Max Verstappen for his performance from “another world” this season.

Verstappen has claimed his second world title with four races remaining of the Formula 1 season. Horner says the Dutchman drove with maturity and conviction to see off rivals like Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“To do it with four races remaining, I mean, it’s truly a remarkable performance,” Horner told Motorsport.com. “And I think Max has been on another planet this year, he has dominated this championship, driven with such maturity, such conviction.

“And I think, of course, far less controversial than the last race in Abu Dhabi, which was a titanic battle last year. And the big one outstanding for us is the constructors’. So after eight years, no other team has come close to winning it, and hopefully we can bring that home this year as well.”

This year’s championship is a clear cut win for Verstappen after the controversy following his first title in 2021. Verstappen overtook Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with just a lap to go after F1 rules were bent.

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F1 news: Red Bull cost cap breach ‘constitutes cheating’, says McLaren boss

McLaren boss Zak Brown says Red Bull’s breach of F1’s 2021 budget cap “constitutes cheating” in a letter written to the FIA.

Red Bull, who won last year’s Drivers Chamiponship with Max Verstappen, were found guilty of a “minor overspend” of the cost cap, having spent more than the £114m budget – though the breach was not over the 5% “major breach” threshold of £5.7m.

The team said in a statement that they were “surprised and disappointed” with the findings, insisting that their “2021 submission was below the cost cap limit.” The FIA will now decide on a penalty – ranging from a fine to points deductions – and McLaren CEO Brown insists Christian Horner’s team should be penalised both financially and on track/in car development.

“Any team who have overspent have gained an unfair advantage both in the current and following year’s car development,” he writes, in a letter seen by the BBC and sent to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“The overspend breach, and possibly the procedural breaches, constitute cheating by offering a significant advantage across technical, sporting and financial regulations.

“The FIA has run an extremely thorough, collaborative and open process. We have even been given a one-year dress rehearsal (in 2020), with ample opportunity to seek any clarification if details were unclear. So, there is no reason for any team to now say they are surprised.”

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F1 news: Daniel Ricciardo’s manager insists the driver is ‘not done’ in F1 after McLaren exit

Daniel Ricciardo’s agent Nick Thimm says the driver is “not done” with Formula 1 despite not having a seat for next season.

Ricciardo announced his departure from McLaren in August and since then all available seats for 2023 have been taken. After the last was taken last weekend, by Pierre Gasly signing for Alpine, the Australian confirmed he wouldn’t be in the sport next season. But despite the bleak future after 11 seasons in the F1, Thimm says Ricciardo will make a comeback.

“None of this is about ego, unachievable demands, or a sudden lack of opportunity,” he said via Planet F1. “This is about a man who was dealt a bad hand, now finding the right next opportunity.

“Uncovering a new project where he can work with a team that embraces his unique set of skills. A project where his experience can be applied. A process where he can reset and show his love for the game.

“And ultimately put himself in the best position to show the world what he’s capable of should he be given the chance. It’s a different approach yes, but it’s also a new day for the sport. Daniel’s maturity and experience is a matched by few on the grid; now more than ever.

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F1 news: Red Bull and the F1 budget cap: What have they done wrong and what happens next?

It is the story which everyone in F1 is talking about: Red Bull have been found guilty of breaching the 2021 cost cap.

We now await a punishment from the FIA – but what have Red Bull done wrong? Why was the cost cap introduced, what costs are included and what options are now open to Red Bull?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the F1 cost cap?

Formula 1’s cost-cap measures were brought in last year to reduce the lavish spending of big teams – sometimes upwards of $400million – in order to narrow the field and increase the competitiveness of the championship, enabling smaller teams to compete in an even environment.

The other key aspect was to be in keeping with F1’s target of sustainability, with the cap working to limit the amount of money an F1 team can spend in any year to encourage financial-sustainability.

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F1 news: Lewis Hamilton – ‘It’s imperative’ that any F1 budget-cap breaches are punished

Lewis Hamilton believes the integrity of Formula 1 would be damaged if a team were found to have broken the budget cap – insisting it is “imperative” that any breach is suitably punished.

Red Bull were found to have overspent in Monday’s FIA findings with their punishment yet to be determined. The situation will now progress with Hamilton keen for any wrongdoing to be correctly punished.

“I think it’s imperative, honestly, just for transparency,” the seven-time world champion said before the findings were revealed.

“I think we need to continue to have transparency for the fans, for the integrity of the sport. I don’t really know enough about it. I know obviously there’s lots of conversations that are going on in the background. No one truly knows.”

“There’s different numbers and different things being said here and there, so I was expecting those results to come out yesterday.

“I would like to think that if it’s been delayed it’s because it’s been taken very seriously and I trust that Mohammed [bin Sulayem, FIA president] is taking it seriously and will do what is right for the sport, I hope. I think it would be bad for the sport if action wasn’t taken if there was a breach, but I don’t know if there is so I’ll wait.”

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F1 news: Lando Norris wants ‘hefty penalty’ for any teams who break F1 budget cap

Lando Norris has added his name to a growing list of Formula One drivers calling for a “hefty penalty” for teams who break the budget cap – claiming they would benefit for years to come from any infringement.

Red Bull were found to have overspent in Monday’s FIA findings with their punishment yet to be determined. The sport’s financial regulations define a minor breach as one less than 5% of the cap, set at $145m (£114m) in 2021, and a material one as more than that.

When asked if punishment needed to be swift and severe, the McLaren driver replied: “Of course. I think because teams are trying to find and trying to be as efficient as possible with every single thing that they do, any small amount over is, in any part of Formula One, maybe not huge, but depending on what it is, a big advantage.”

“Considering there has been such a rule implied to make things a bit more comparable for everyone, give all teams a better chance at fighting, then it’s just an unfair stat within the performance of Formula One. There should be a pretty hefty penalty for whoever does cross the line.”

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